Trustworthy? You’re an honest, forthright person. You take your obligations seriously. You would never dream of taking advantage of someone—so when a sociopath takes advantage of you, you won’t see it coming. If you play by the rules, know this: Sociopaths don’t.
“Truth and reason are of no value to narcissists and psychopaths. Their aim is to defeat, exploit, and dominate—and not get caught. Lacking a conscience, they are free to use any method that will give them the upper hand without any ethical inhibitions standing in their way. Abusive people don’t feel that they owe their victims, or anyone else, a reason for their behavior. By ignoring requests for an explanation, they enjoy the sense of power they get from denying their victim the most basic respect.”
Because they play dirty. They don’t follow any rules of civil interaction. Lacking a conscience, they have no moral constraints on their behavior, and when confronted, they simply deny their evil deeds. They couldn’t care less about civility, decency, morality, or honor as long as their actions pay out and their unethical behavior is kept under the public radar. They are free to lie, con, deceive, manipulate, intimidate, incriminate, or use any other trick in the book.
We may not recognize the disingenuous conniving techniques they use to control and manipulate. An experienced abuser is extraordinarily devious and almost impossible to pin down. Primed with denial strategies, he’s always ahead of the game.
Psychopaths use numerous deception tactics to create and maintain a respectable, virtuous, likable—maybe even admirable—public persona that deceives the best of us.They take advantage of our tendency to not recognize evidence that contradicts our beliefs, such as dishonesty and other lowly character traits in an individual who has ‘won’ our trust, respect, and appreciation. The persona provides a cover for devious schemes, exploitation, and abuse.
A psychopathic individual may believe that all of us play the same game—only he is smarter and superior while most other people are weak, inferior pushovers. Until understanding of psychopathy becomes widespread public knowledge, the predator’s hunting grounds will remain saturated with easy prey.
Persona: the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others.
“Psychopaths blame their victims for what happened
and consider the victims’ fate irrelevant.”
The mocking and controlling behavior of the psychopathic mind is motivated by a claim for submission. The submission brings them feelings of excitement consisting of a type of victory. They enjoy what they consider to be a game of destroying people. It’s amusing to them.
“…bear in mind you are dealing with highly skilled manipulators. They’ve had years and years of experience being covertly aggressive–do not underestimate their power. It happens so quickly, so subtly, you must arm yourself with tools to fight such monsters.”
“I have met a lot of people who have said something rude, did something in total disregard to my feelings and then gave lame excuses, no excuses or even tried to accuse me of being the bad guy afterwards. These manipulative people know what they’re doing, they don’t care, and they get a kick out of manipulating you.”
“These people are at war with you. Don’t ever tell them your secrets or your insecurities. They will just use it against you to inflict more pain.”
“For the first time in my life, I understand why I perceive people are “always taking advantage of me”. I’ve let them. Since I’ve been speaking up, I feel empowered and alive. This book saved my perspective, if not my life…”
“They look like us, but they are extremely smooth at decieving and come in many forms!”
According to Dr. Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door
Accept that some people have no conscience; that there are evil people in this world who do not act out of concern or love for another.
Listen to your instincts — labels (professional roles) do not make a good person. Look carefully at someone who “carries” a professional label, judging whether that individual’s behavior fits what is expected of that professional role.
Practice the rule of threes — One lie or broken promise may be a misunderstanding, two lies may involve a serious mistake, three lies — the individual is not trustworthy. Stay away from that individual.
Suspect flattery — when someone flatters you excessively, telling you how much they appreciate you or like it when you visit or how much they enjoy your conversations.
Redefine your concept of respect — respect must be earned. Don’t automatically give respect to an individual because of her professional role or her relationship to you.
Refuse to join the game — do not try to outsmart the sociopath. Do not reduce yourself to his level.
Once you identify a sociopath, avoid him, refuse any kind of interaction. It is the only way to protect yourself.
Question your tendency to pity too easily. Anyone who actively campaigns for your pity or consistently hurts others is likely a sociopath. Pity should be reserved for those who truly deserve it. Make sure the individual who seeks your help really needs it.
Do not try to redeem the unredeemable. If you are dealing with someone without a conscience, you cannot change them, no matter how educated or loving you are. Sociopaths have no reason to change; they like who they are.
Never agree to help a sociopath conceal her true character. You don’t owe the sociopath anything. Don’t believe that you are like her, no matter what she says. You are nothing like her.
Defend your psyche. Humanity is not a failure. Being kind and loving and caring is the best way to live. It is the way most people live their lives.
“When it comes to nature vs nurture I’ll say this: A psychopath is born, a sociopath is created.”
It is well established by scientists that psychopaths are born without the capacity for empathy. The parts of the brain and certain connections that are responsible for giving us a conscience are different in psychopaths. Upbringing and childhood experiences will affect other aspects of an individual’s personality but they do not cause this disorder. A psychopath can come from a loving family and have had a good childhood. Ted Bundy is an example. For the rest of us, it’s very important to understand how they function and to know that they will not change, no matter how kind and tolerant we are towards them. If anything, they will take advantage of a well meaning person. They regard compassion as weakness. Many of us compensate for our feelings of inferiority in different ways. Psychopaths and narcissists are different. They genuinely believe that they are superior and entitled to special treatment.